(english) Digital Greece
Enosi Kentroon abides with the principles of our Democracy, the international Human Rights conventions (Universal Declaration of Human Rights of U.N., European Court of Human Rights) and its articles of incorporation. The citizen participation is a necessary element for the proper governing of Greece. Thanks to the use of new technology, citizens are able to take part in decision making.
Enosi Kentroon cooperates with political parties and movements which embrace and serve these basic principles and fully accepts the principles that determine the Free Software Foundation (https://www.fsf.org ) and the European Free Software Foundation (https://fsfe.org ) and aims at:
Maximum possible reduction of paper use in Public or Private sector transactions as well as within Public sector services.
Transparency in all levels of Public Administration.
Publication of every step of all actions in all Public sector via the internet.
Free access of the individual to knowledge and civilization.
Respect of individual freedom, freedom of expression, life privacy and communications confidentiality.
Assurance of total freedom of speech.
Open Source Software
Greece has at its disposal the maximum of potential of all the educational institutions of information technology by adopting and using open source software.
The familiarity of all the generations of our population with the digital facilities can be achieved through contests running throughout the year, as well as actions which can be taken and run by the educational institutions of our country.
The wide use of Open Sources in Greece offers multiple benefits for our country:
Independence of proprietary code of information systems and freedom for the development of applications which cover 100% of the needs of the Greek State.
Reduction of the cost of purchase and maintenance of proprietary code of information systems with multiple benefits for the Public sector(reduction of operation cost).
Creation of new working positions in the Information Technology field.
Creation and export of high technology
Attraction of investors interested in the Free and Open Source Software and the creation of technological parks (eg. Silicon Valley, California, USA).
It is well understood that Greece is currently highly dependent on Proprietary Software information systems and bound by contracts of high annual cost with specific software companies.
Making an open call for cooperation to all the Greek entities of Free and Open Source Software, we are able to present a complete transition programme for the Greek Public sector and in five years’ time, in Open Source Software and Open Standards.
Free Software Foundation Europe https://fsfe.org & https://fsfe.org/activities/policy/eu/policy-goals/public-bodies.el.html
What is Free Software?
The Free Software (or “open source software”) – computer programmes that anyone can use, study, share and improve – is of vital importance for the achievement of these goals. Free Software makes Internet function and provides the foundation for the most successful businesses in the information technology industry. Only with Free Software can the users completely understand what a computer programme actually does, what data and where it sends them, and how it produces results.
Public services provide a critical infrastructure of democratic countries. The Parliaments, the government organizations and the governing bodies have to be under the complete control of the state, which, in turn, is governed by its citizens through democratic procedures. For these targets to be achieved, public services must have complete control of the software and the computer systems they use, as well as the data they collect, save and process.
In order to meet their obligations towards the citizens they serve, the public services should use only Free Software and save their data in formats which comply wit the Open Standards.
Where public services use Software as a Service (SaaS) or “cloud” solutions, they have to avoid confinement to a single provider and make sure they will be able to easily switch among different providers of similar services. They have to ensure that their data will be transferred among different providers, that they will be saved in formats compatible with Open Standards, and that the solution will not require non-free source software.
Public services are funded by taxes. They have to make sure that they spend that money wisely. If the organizations get entrapped in any kind of offer of a specific provider, they will end up paying monopoly prices for the software and the relevant services.
On the contrary, public services should obtain their software and the computer relevant services only through competitive invitations to tender for supplies, open to all those who submit their offers. Public services should budget for the future exit cost, included in the offer price, as well as the cost of any license they might need to buy, additional to the offered solution. They should buy only appliances in which they can freely modify and install operating systems and other programmes of their choice.
When public services develop software, or pay for the development of software, the programmes that emerge should be rendered to the mass market under a Free Software license. The citizens and the businesses have paid for this software with their taxes, so they should have access to it. This includes smart phone applications (“apps”) which public services provide. As more and more of data concerning our lives are transferred in cyberspace, we must make sure that they are well protected.
When public services save personal data outside their computer systems, these data should be subjected to the same or even stricter data protection rules, like the ones which are valid in the domain where they were created.
What we ask from EU and its members is to :
Ask the Commission to suggest legislation demanding that any software funded by the public, including the mobile devices applications, should be publicly provided with Free Software use licenses
Regarding the invitations to tender for supplies, they should ask the Commission to suggest legislation requiring the public services toinclude the exit cost in the total cost of any software or hosting solution they obtain
Ask the Commission to suggest legislation requiring the public services to provide information, upon request, to any citizen, regarding the jurisdiction under which the saving of personal data lies.
Consumer rights and ownership of devices
We are becoming more and more dependent on computers for most of our everyday operations, either with smart phones, cars or thermostats. Citizens should have total control of the function of these devices.
Namely, citizens should have the freedom to modify and exchange the software these devices run. They should also have the potential to control which data these devices collect, and with whom they share them.
The legislator should ensure that the consumers will be able to modify and exchange the software in all the computer devices they possess. The consumer’s rights need to be strengthened, giving thus the citizens the ability to easily seek justice against the manufacturers and the resellers who impede them to modify the software of their devices.
The suppliers easily impose arbitrary restrictions on consumers with products such as e-books, films and computer games. For instance, they impede the consumers to sell or lend the products they bought. The suppliers frequently achieve this by claiming that they simply sell a license to use the product and not the product itself. These restrictions are unfair to the consumers in a crude way and the legislator should abort them.
We would like EU and its member states to :
Ask the Commission to suggest legislation which reinforces the consumers’ rights, requiring their ability to modify and exchange software in any computer device they buy, or, in other case, they happen to possess permanently.
Ask the Commission to suggest legislation which ensures that the consumers are able to use digital goods purchased in full extent of exceptions and limitations of legislation concerning copyright.
Privacy, surveillance and encryption
A democratic discussion cannot take place without privacy and anonymity. In a free country, citizens should be able to discuss without the fear of being spied upon.
For that reason, citizens rely as much on legal regulations as on technology. Policy shapers should protect their citizens from surveillance, facilitate the development of tools that protect the citizens’ privacy and promote the use of such tools.
Despite the diffused surveillance in the internet, the policy shapers should promote the use of encryption in all communication sectors.
All public services have to offer the citizens they serve, the means to communicate via encrypted and safe channels.
Policy shapers should give priority to the development of encryption tools for general use Free Software and should make sure that public money is available for that purpose.
We would like EU and its member states to :
Ensure that encryption technologies based on Free Software will be used in the European Parliament on a regular basis, as well as in the Commission and the European Council.
Ask the Commission to suggest legislation requiring from all public services to offer their citizens the chance to communicate with them via channels which are safe with encryption technologies.
Adopt an investigation report on potential violations of the law, which were committed by local and foreign information services
The internet has brought novelty and democratic participation, just because there is no central control. The tendency towards centralized services puts this basic advantage at risk.
In order to protect the freedom of the citizens of information society, we need to build distributed systems for all the important internet-based operations.
Policy makers should promote the development and use of distributed services to replace services that are currently centralized to a great extent, such as social networks. They should ensure that proper public funding is offered for this project.
Policy makers should promote the development of Open Standards, via which these systems can interact.
Policy makers should promote the use of such tools, using them for their own interaction with the public and avoiding centralized services wherever this is possible.
We would like EU and its member states to :
Ask from the European funding services, and especially the European Commission, to direct the financing to the development of distributed communication platforms, based on Free Software and Open Standards.
Ask from the administration of the Parliament to support the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in order to use systematically the distributed platforms, especially in social networks.
Open Standards allow the free sharing of all kinds of data with absolute accuracy. They protect from locking and other artificial barriers in interoperability and they offer the option among providers and technological solutions. FSFE’s project concerning Open Standards aims at ensuring the facilitation of transition to Free Software or among Free Software solutions.
Open Standards are closely linked to the web phenomena and this link has grown dramatically. The payment to proprietorial providers for gambling systems increases together with the cost of software for users.
Governments, NGOs (Non-governmental Organizations) of public benefit, including groups interested in the freedom of competition or consumers’ rights, are generally strong supporters of the Open Standards.
Providers of proprietorial software and those who represent their own interests are typical criticizers. One of the points they emphasize is the inherent conflict between novelty and standardization.
Standardization deliberately limits the changes in the technological basis, therefore in novelty as well. These limits have been set so that the novelty may be followed by anyone with access to the standard, not only from the region which controls the technological basis. In that way the standard limits the potential for novelty by an associate, in order to allow it to many.
Open Standards allow novelty to all associates without giving the potential to the initial programmer of the platform to restrain novelty or competition, that novelty itself represents.
FSFE’s aims include freedom from locκs, freedom of novelty and competition for everyone. That is why FSFE is a strong supporter of Open Standards.